Thursday, February 15, 2018

Penn College Baja Team Receives Significant Tool Donation

Members of Penn College’s Baja SAE team celebrate a recent donation of tools, valued at approximately $33,000, from Monster Tool Co. The 2,000-plus cutting tools will expand the students’ capability in building and modifying an off-road vehicle to compete against colleges from throughout the world in Society of Automotive Engineers competitions
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. ­– The success of Pennsylvania College of Technology students on the international stage has been rewarded with a significant donation of tools, designed to manufacture new achievements.

Monster Tool Co. recently donated more than 2,000 cutting tools – worth approximately $33,000 – to the college’s Baja SAE team. The students will employ the solid carbide tools for years to come in building and modifying a single-engine, off-road vehicle to compete against 100-plus other colleges from throughout the world in Society of Automotive Engineers competitions.

“This is a very significant moment in the evolution of our team,” said John G. Upcraft, instructor of manufacturing and machining and adviser for Penn College’s Baja SAE Club. “In recent years, we have really made a name for ourselves with strong showings against top-notch universities. This generous gift will help us reach the next level.”

The high-grade tools consist mostly of end mills that the students will use on computer-numerical-control machines to manufacture various parts for their dune-buggy-like vehicle.

“As the club advances, we need tougher, more intricate cutting tools,” said Logan B. Goodhart, a manufacturing engineering technology major from Chambersburg, who serves as president of the Baja SAE Club. “We’ve always had to design car parts around the tooling we had on hand. Now we can design without apprehension. We don’t have to worry so much about how we will make it because there’s a very good possibility that a tool donated by Monster will do the job. They donated a wide variety, so we can do a lot of stuff.”

Multitasking is the norm during intense Baja SAE competitions. Team members must compile and present comprehensive car design and cost reports to industry judges before engaging in a series of dynamic events, such as sled pull, acceleration, and maneuverability and suspension. The marquee event is a four-hour endurance race over rough terrain.

Since 2012, Penn College has recorded six top-10 finishes in the endurance race, including three consecutive fifth-place showings. At the most recent competition, Baja SAE Illinois, the college cracked the top-10 of the overall standings for the first time, finishing ninth.

Buoyed by such success, Goodhart reached out to Monster Tool via its website to determine if the Vista, California, company – known for its end mills, drills, reamers, burrs and countersinks – would make a contribution to the team. Goodhart identified Monster Tool Co. as a potential sponsor after noticing other teams using its products.

The company responded promptly and affirmatively.

“Monster Tool firmly believes that innovation and excellence should transcend just products and be incorporated in all company beliefs and actions,” said Josh Lynberg, president. “We are committed to investing in our country’s future engineering and scientific minds in order to build the technology of tomorrow. Whether it is formula or off-road SAE racing, robotics, rocketry or unmanned vehicles (land, sea or air), we want to promote the students and their projects by donating the tooling required to support their endeavors.”

The Penn College students are already using some of the tools to build their car for two 2018 competitions: Baja SAE Maryland in April and Baja SAE Kansas in May.

“We’re redesigning the front suspension and redesigning some major components to drop some weight and make the components more durable,” Goodhart said. “We’re always looking to improve in every aspect. You know every team out there is doing so, as well. The amount of innovation in the competition is unreal.”

So is the dedication shown by the Penn College team.

“I continue to be inspired by our Baja students,” said David R. Cotner, dean of Penn College’s School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies. “The students spend countless hours outside of class throughout the year to produce the best car possible, not only to do well in competition, but also to proudly represent the college. Securing a significant donation from Monster Tool Co. is a testament to their commitment.”

Those interested in supporting the team can donate online at

Penn College offers a bachelor’s degree in manufacturing engineering technology; associate degrees in automated manufacturing technology, machine tool technology and metal fabrication technology; and a machinist general certificate.

For more about those majors and other programs offered by the School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies, call 570-327-4520 or visit

Penn College is a national leader in applied technology education and workforce development., email or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

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